A federal appeals court ruled that President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum, and his practice of blocking critics violates the First Amendment. The decision arose from a July 2017 suit filed in U. S District Court for the Southern District of New York by seven Twitter users who had been blocked after they made critical remarks about Trump and/or his policies. The critics, represented by Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued Trump and Daniel Scavino, the White House’s Director of Social Media, for violating their First Amendment rights.
The Supreme Court weighed in on a case over whether a public access channel should be considered a private actor […]
An independent student newspaper lost its funding in a recent referendum vote, and the process violates the First Amendment, says Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Since The Daily Targumbroke free from Rutgers University in 1980, it has had to rely on funding from the student body, which votes every three years on whether to allocate student fees to fund the newspaper. In order to qualify for funding, at least 25 percent of the student body has to vote on the referendum. But following a two-year campaign by a right-leaning student group to deny funding for the student newspaper, for the first time in 39 years, voter turnout was too low to qualify the publication for funding.
A federal judge in Los Angeles threw out charges against three alleged white supremacists, saying that the First Amendment protected their speech. Robert Rundo, Robert Boman, and Aaron Eason, members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), had been charged with conspiracy to commit rioting under the Anti Riot Act of 1968. The trio allegedly used the Internet to coordinate combat training, travel to protests, and attacks on protestors at three gatherings in California. District Court Judge Carmac J. Carney ruled that the federal Anti Riot Act, which was enacted during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, was too broad in regulating free speech.
A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that a local county official who temporarily blocked a constituent from her Facebook page violated the First Amendment, making this the first court of appeals ruling regarding whether the First Amendment applies to government-run social media accounts.
The Justice Department has requested Facebook provide information on activists involved with the "DisruptJ20” protests which occurred during President Trump's inauguration. The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that the request not only chills free speech, but also gives the DPJ unfettered access to thousands of personal records.
Over the weekend, President Trump took aim at players who have more explicitly over the past year taken to kneeling, sitting or raising a fist during the playing of the National Anthem in order to bring awareness to racism and police brutality. In response to the President's tweets, NFL players in games across the country responded by kneeling or sitting out the national anthem. Debate bubbled over on social media over whether this was a fireable offense or freedom of expression.